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Deans and organists

17 July 2020

July 16th, 1920.

“THE Deans of England”, we read in Wednesday’s morning paper, “hold their annual meeting at Durham to-day and tomorrow. The proceedings are private, but it is understood that a deputation of cathedral organists will present their views on choral services in cathedrals.” This is, we believe, the first ray of light that has penetrated the profound darkness of this mysterious decanal meeting. Hitherto the only suggestion has been that the deans agree annually to maintain the charge for entrance to the choirs, but that no other business can be found to supply the excuse for a pleasant reunion. But the subject of cathedral music is certainly important and debatable. Unfortunately, with the departure of Dr Strong from Christ Church there is hardly a dean competent to talk to cathedral organists on their own subject. Yet it will be an advantage if some of the younger organists — for example, Mr Sydney Nicholson and Mr Hylton Stewart — express the views of the school from which much-needed reforms must ultimately come, and if the deans will give them an attentive hearing. Then among the dry bones there may at last be a shaking.

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